The sub-soil was well compacted and below that, heavy grey almost white clay was evident. As I turned the soil and broke up the sub-soil, the grey clay underneath was loosened down by about 4 inches (10cm), before the next batch of mixed soil/sub-soil was dug away, along the length of the bed and deposited onto the top of it. Due to the vast amount of time the double digging was taking, I decide not to add compost/manure to the trenches at this stage but to add compost after the digging was finished and rotavate it into the soil, again keeping the soil from compacting. The gritty/sandier top soil I had left over from my front garden project earlier this year was also added to the clay at the bottom of each trench to hopefully aid drainage. As of today approximately 3 meters by 1 and a half meters at the lower end of number 2 bed is still to be double dig. It has been totally exhausting work for the past 2 months and not a job I would recommend to anyone, especially if they are gardening on heavy clay. After number 2 bed has been dug I have 1 more task involving digging, which is to remove my Summer Raspberries from N1 Plot. After that I have promised myself that its rotavating only from now on, except for very minor digging jobs!!!
|Double Digging Bed 2 N2 Plot Almost Finished 9th October 13|
|The Final Few Feet To Be Dug 9th October 13|
|1 Container of Six With Roots/Weeds From Bed 2. 9/Oct/13 (6 More Containers Were Filled With Stones From Bed 2)|
Repositioning & repairing the shed on N2 Plot took place. Potatoes flowering, Strawberries ripening. This years Strawberries (Cambridge Vigour) were average compared to last years crop, again mainly due to the months of dry hot weather. A good crop of Apples developing. Cucumbers outdoors in the ground not doing well. A good crop of pot grown ridge Cucumbers were harvested last month the others were dire. Raised beds constructed at the lower end of N2 Plot.
Mainly seed sowing & harvesting in July with an absolute mega harvest of currants, red, white & black. More d.i.y. After dismantling the compost heap at the top end of N2 Plot my poly tunnel was moved to where the heap had been. 1 more raised bed was constructed at the lower end of N2 Plot. Summer raspberries were poor this year. This was due to the wet weather early in the year causing Cucumber root rot to many of the plants. Some rain in July & the Parsnips had finally germinated (some).
More harvesting with Sweetcorn ripening beautifully. Some welcome rain this month gave a boost to many plants suffering from the long dry spell of weather. Runner beans still not developing well. Onions looking good. Chard excellent. More Carrots & French beans harvested, along with some Apples, Raspberries and Yard long beans. First sightings of Hover flies & Honey Bees 2nd week in August.
Lifted my main crop Potatoes (Desiree), excellent crop. More digging and double digging on N2 Plot. More harvesting. Grapes excellent both in quantity and quality. Outdoor Tomatoes still only ripening slowly but good size and quality. Runner beans finally producing some good beans late September.
Still double digging bed 2 on N2 Plot. Much tidying of both plots is still needed before Winter. Composting and manuring still to be done ready for next year.
|A Nice Harvest of Carrots (Flyaway) 9/Oct/13|
Failures: Runner beans (partial failure), Pak-choi, Khol-rabi, Summer raspberries, Pears, Cherries, Plums, Parsnips, French climbing beans (partial failure), Outdoor cucumbers, Alpine strawberries, Early Cauliflowers, Successional sowing, accidentally reversing my car into the poly tunnel, too much digging, hot dry weather, not fixing a leak in my shed roof before the weather turned wet, too much d.i.y. and not enough gardening.
All in all another trying gardening year mainly thanks to the weather again.
There's always tomorrow!!!